Concept Design and Performance Evaluation of UAV-based Backhaul Link with Antenna Steering

Druh výsledku
článek v časopise v databázi Web of Science

Today, cellular coverage in many rural areas remains intermittent. The mobile operators may not be willing to deploy expensive network infrastructure to support the low-demand regions. For that reason, solutions for the rapid deployment of base stations in the areas with insufficient or damaged operator infrastructure have been emerging. Utilization of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones serving as data relays holds significant potential for delivering on-demand connectivity, also providing public safety services or aiding in recovery after communication infrastructure failures caused by natural disasters. The use of UAVs in provisioning high-rate radio connectivity and bringing it to remote locations is also envisioned as a promising application for fifth-generation (5G) communication systems. In this work, we introduce a prototype solution for an aerial base station where the connectivity between a drone and the base station is provided via a directional microwave link. Our prototype is equipped with a steering mechanism driven by a dedicated algorithm to support such connectivity. As our experimental results, we contribute earlystage measurements of connectivity and signal strength conducted with our prototype and compared against the free-space model. These findings support the emerging vision of aerial base stations as part of the 5G ecosystem and beyond.

Klíčová slova
Drone, antenna steering, prototype, measurements